Delaware beach town holds annual funeral for summer season
Wait? Does this mean summer is over? Bethany Beach bid a bittersweet farewell to the beach season with a jazz funeral procession.
The annual parade on Labor Day weekend drew tourists and residents to say a goodbye to another summer season at Delaware's beaches.
The funeral started in 1985 as a way for business owners to mourn the loss of tourism revenue after beach visitors had left for the day on Labor Day. Since then, it's grown into an event that keeps visitors in town later into evening on Labor Day, extending the summer even if just for a few extra hours.
The business community has been increasingly successful in recent years in extending the "shoulder season" by getting more visitors to come to the beaches after the unofficial end of the summer season on Labor Day. That effort includes an arts festival next weekend, a jazz festival the following weekend and other events through the fall.
By all accounts the rain did little to dampen "the enthusiasm" of those who long for sunnier-warmer days.